Friday, November 3, 2017

Tortles Across the Spheres

This post was inspired by a post I saw recently talking about using 5e's Tortles in other settings. Tortles, of course, are the anthropomorphic reptilian-humanoid  that can be purchased here. Most of the material written about them will either be generic material, or if it's official D&D, based around Forgotten Realms. This post will try to offer where Tortles might be found in other campaign settings.

Primary Location: Lake Gloomy; Shell Enclave, Jackport Bay

Brief: Tortle in Blackmoor are divided into Blackshell and Oceanstride groups that are either freshwater or saltwater bound respectively. The Blackshells dwell in the Lake Gloomy region along with a combination of long-standing Humans and friendly Grippli tribes. The alliance is not wholly friendly, given the common ancestor that Grippli share with the wild forgmen, Tortles are looked one with little favor, though the Human military of Lake Gloomy do appreciate Tortle apothecaries for creating a special wax that has kept the brass shining brighter than ever. Blackshells prefer fishing or practicing their Druid-craft, but their bravery along the war road has been noted by the Baron of the Lakes. Warrior Tortle prefer spear fighting or slamming into the enemy with spike covered shells. Tortle range units have benefited as of late by the introduction of the Human crossbow.

Both within and outside of Jackport are the Oceanstride Tortles. These relatively peaceful sea-going Tortles trade salvage retrieved from the bottom of the bay or pearls for Human and Elvish goods. Just as Men are fascinated by Elves, so to are the Cumasti fascinated by the turtle men who typically dwell across the bay. The Tortles chief worry, besides the occasional predator that swims into the bay from the ocean, are river rats and freebooters who work the area. Oceanstride Tortles, like their Blackshell cousins, tend to use spears as their weapons. They also are known to use blowguns with darts laced with coral or blowfish poison against their enemies.

Primary Location: Rock of Bral; Wildspace

Tortles on the Rock have an interesting position since arriving on the Wildspace scene. Tortle spellcasters tend towards water-based deities and spells, forming what are known was "Bubble Seers". On the Rock, Tortle colonies have begun to pop up along Lake Bral with leave from royal authority to care for precious resources of the Lake. They are also found in the Bralian graveyard, tending to the graves and the plants of the yard in exchange for pay or supplies. Tortles who travel into the various portions of the city find the most tolerate services in Low City (who cater to anyone, for a price) and some measure of tolerance in Middle City (provided the Tortle has aided the merchant before or they are beneficiaries of some noble or a Middle City notable's esteem. Tortle on the Rock tend to be quiet, watchful, and whatever cards they are given are careful to play them as they are an extreme minority.

Tortle living among the stars proper, as upon ships, seem to enjoy the company of Lizardfolk vessels the most, given the amphibious nature of the two races. Tortle are often found working as porter on cargo vessels due to their strong backs. They can also be depended upon in a fight for being a tough, naturally armored opponent, but they are viewed as a detriment for jobs that need speed, such as rigging or firing a weapon. They can make good loaders due to the knack at hauling material.

Primary Location: Westkeep; Hool Marshes

Since the occupation of Westkeep by the armies of Keoland, one of the most invaluable resources that the troops can call upon are the turtle men of the Hool. The Tortles of the Slow River Tribe are known to provide aid in the form of meals, alchemical poultices, and guidance for supply trains working through the Hool. The Tortles tend to avoid embroiling themselves within the civil war that grips the Hold of the Sea Princes, though they do admit that they maintain contact with colonies that struggle on the Princely Isles of Jetsom, Fairwind, and Flotsom. News is sporadic as the Tortle colonies on those islands work to avoid the attention of the infamous Scarlet Brotherhood.

Tortle parties, also known as 'gangs' that do get involved with the war effort tend to do so in support of Keoland's occupation, seeing the men of the North as relatively fair minded and grateful, certainly more grateful than the old Princes ever were. Herdsmen and slave troops of the Brotherhood have found a tough, yet merciful opponent in the Tortles. In turn, the Tortles are grateful they have yet to face a monk in scarlet robes who wasn't a mere pretender to the true, terrifying agent of the brotherhood.

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